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Group Decision Tip: Our Interests

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In principle, good group decisions result when we consider our interests rather than just my interests. My instinct is often to go into a conversation, negotiation, or group decision with the goal of satisfying my own interests, of getting what I want. The challenge is to go into a conversation not just looking out for my interests, but looking out for yours too.

It’s hard to consider what is in the best interest of two or more people, but the result might be a win for more than just me, perhaps a win for all involved. Failure to consider our interests often results in someone losing.

Practical Tip: Make decisions with multiple interests in mind, not just your own. The first step is to fully understand others’ interests, in addition to understanding and honestly sharing your own. Ask, “What about this issue is so important? Why is this important? What are the underlying interests?” Good group decisions start with good listening and shared understanding, and they end with win-win.

Group Decision Tips are written by NCDD member Craig Freshley, a long-time meeting facilitator and group process author. Craig invites NCDDers to view all his Tips at www.groupdecisiontips.com, and to share them freely for non-commercial purposes with proper credit to Craig.

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